Aspects of Irish Aristocratic Life: Essays on the Fitzgeralds and Carton House

Aspects of Irish Aristocratic Life: Essays on the Fitzgeralds and Carton House

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For almost 800 years, from their arrival with the first wave of Anglo-Normans in 1169, the FitzGeralds - Earls of Kildare and, from 1766, Dukes of Leinster - were the pre-eminent noble family living in Ireland, dominating the social, political, economic and cultural landscapes. This collection of essays, by established and emerging scholars, draws together some of the most recent and specialised research on the family, providing original perspectives on various aspects of their aristocratic history. Individual contributions inform on how the family first settled in Kildare and rose to ascendancy and how they maintained political status through court connections in England and beyond. Thematically, the essays cover such topics as the architecture and material culture of the Big House, the creation of the great eighteenth-century aristocratic demesne and landscape at Carton, the final break-up of the family's estates and its subsequent economic decline in the twentieth century.They examine the contributions made by individual members of the family to the social and cultural spheres in Ireland and further afield; their interest in local as well as international concerns; their enthusiasm for the arts, music and dancing; the relationship between employers and servants, dukes and the Catholic Church, younger sons and radicalism, the latter exemplified in the life of one of the more famous members of the family, Lord Edward FitzGerald, a leader of the Society of United Irishmen and the 1798 Rebellion.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 26mm | 519.99g
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • New.
  • 2 x 8 pages illustrations
  • 1906359717
  • 9781906359713
  • 829,158

Review quote

'There is much of interest in this well-presented book that will hopefully encourage further research. It is a tribute to the authors, all of whom, with the help of their editors, have combined their scholarship to create a narrative that unfolds fairly seamlessly.' Patricia McCarthy Irish Arts Review, summer 2014 'The most interesting essay on Carton is on the rules governing servants at the house in the mid-18th Century. The source for this information is a 'household book' which covers the period from the early 1760s to 1773. In the Preface the Hon. Desmond Guinness expresses his disappointment at the neglect of the history of Irish landlords and their 'Great Houses'. With this book, blessed as it is with an excellent index, this neglect is somewhat redressed.' Irish Catholic, 10 April 2014 '[This book] presents a remarkable reservoir of research, which will prove especially valuable to those seeking an introduction to the Geraldine legacy ... Perhaps the most attractive aspect of this collection, however, is that while it covers a vast historical period, it also offers a strikingly intimate window into life at the Carton Demesne ... this delightful collection, with its 27 beautiful colour prints, is a pleasurable and informative read, which is sure to provide a valuable resource for both novices and those already acquainted with the illustrious Geraldine tradition.' Etudes Irlandaises, June 2015 'This is a valuable collection of essays from a conference held at Carton House in 2010 ... A number of dominant themes emerge from the wide range of essays: the eminence of the FitzGeralds in the governance and representation of Ireland; the fluctuating political fortunes which successively sustained and undermined the family's status; wealth, magnificence and conspicuous artistic display; astute matrimonial strategy and the role of women in cementing and sustaining the dynasty; the life of the estate, its tenants and employees, and in particular the relationship between Carton and Maynooth.' Christine Casey, TCD, Irish Economic and Social History, Volume XLII, 2015 'This is a useful collection. It provides a reminder of the enduring capacity of the story of the lives and properties of the "big house" and their owners to illuminate the flow of Ireland's history across a millennium.' Irish Literary Supplement, Spring 2017
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About Terence Dooley

PATRICK COSGROVE received his PhD from NUI Maynooth where he subsequently held a postdoctoral research fellowship. He has lectured and published on various facets of the Irish land question and is the author of The Ranch War in Riverstown, Co. Sligo, 1908 (2012) as well as articles in leading academic journals including Irish Historical Studies and the Historical Journal. TERENCE DOOLEY is Associate Professor in the History Department and Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at NUI Maynooth. He is the author of several books on the Irish country house and the Irish land question. Most recently, he co-edited a collection of essays with Christopher Ridgway entitled The Irish Country House: Its Past, Present and Future (2010). KAROL MULLANEY-DIGNAM holds a PhD from NUI Maynooth where she has lectured on several aspects of Irish society, culture and heritage. Formerly an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, she is the author of Music and dancing at Castletown, Co. Kildare, 1759-1821 (2011) as well as articles in academic journals, edited volumes, and the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (2013).
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Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements, Foreword: Hon. Desmond Guinness; List of Illustrations; Notes on Contributors; Terence Dooley: The FitzGeralds: A Survey History, 1169-2013; Raymond Gillespie: The FitzGeralds and the Making of the Manor of Maynooth; Mary Ann Lyons: The Kildare Ascendancy; Carol O'Connor: Mabel Browne, Countess of Kildare, and the Restoration of the House of Kildare, 1552-1610; Colm Lennon: The Making of the Geraldines: The Kildare FitzGeralds and their Early Historians; Arnold Horner: Creating a Landscape: Carton and its Setting; Karol Mullaney-Dignam: 'French Horns Playing at Every Meal': Musical Activity at Carton, 1747-1895; Terence Dooley: 'Till my Further Orders': Rules Governing Servants at Carton in the mid-Eighteenth Century; Alison FitzGerald: Desiring to 'Look Sprucish': Objects in Context at Carton; William Laffan and Brendan Rooney: Painting Carton: The 2nd Duke of Leinster, Thomas Roberts and William Ashford; Cormac Begadon: The 2nd Duke of Leinster and the Establishment of St Patrick's College, Maynooth; Liam Chambers: Family Politics and Revolutionary Convictions: The Career of Edward FitzGerald (1763-98); Arnold Horner: In the Shadow of the FitzGeralds: Maynooth c.1700 to c.1900; Elizabeth Heggs: Whig Politics and the 3rd Duke of Leinster (1791-1874); Ciaran Reilly: A Middleman in the 1840s: Charles Carey and the Leinster Estate; Patrick Cosgrove: 'Sacrificed for Ready Money': The Leinster Estate and the Irish Land Question, 1870-1908; Thomas Nelson: Lord Frederick FitzGerald (1857-1924) and Local Politics in County Kildare; Terence Dooley: 'The Fairy Godfather as Regards the Estate': Henry Mallaby-Deeley and Carton, 1922-37; Christopher Ridgway: The FitzGerald Legacy; Notes; Index
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